August 01 - August 04, 2024

Barrett Wissman

Executive Director, Festival del Sole

Barrett Wissman is the Chairman Emeritus of IMG Artists, the global leader in the performing arts talent management, touring, event management and consulting business for the last 20 years. While at the helm of IMG Artists, the Company expanded its presence across the Americas, Europe and Asia. IMG Artists represents over 500 artists, arts organizations and companies in addition to founding and operating festivals and working with non-profit arts organizations around the globe.

Barrett Wissman was appointed the Executive and Artistic Director of the 2023 edition of the Taormina Film Festival. Mr. Wissman re-established the event’s significance both in the Italian and international markets attracting over 60 films, multiple international and European premieres and appearances by some of the biggest international and Italian entertainment celebrities and movie stars active today.

Mr. Wissman has continued to be actively involved in music, serving on the boards of arts institutions including the Fondazione Accademia Internazionale di Imola, one of the most prestigious academic institutions of higher learning in music performance. Mr Wissman is also the Chairman of the Del Sole Foundation for the Arts and Humanities which supports performing arts organizations, talent and events around the globe.

Mr. Wissman founded the Festival del Sole in Cortona, Italy and Festival Napa Valley as well as the Singapore Sun Festival in Singapore, The Palm Springs Life Festival in the Coachella Valley and the Placido Domingo Festival in Seville Spain, which have all celebrated the performing, visual and culinary arts as well as theatre, dance and wellness.

As part of his work in the arts, Barrett Wissman has collaborated with such great artists and luminaries as Robert Redford, Jeremy Irons, Placido Domingo, Harrison Ford, Sophia Loren, Anthony Hopkins, Sting, Renee Fleming, John Malkovich, Robert De Niro, Tony Bennett and many others as a producer and collaborator.

Mr. Wissman has been given the honor of being a Honorary Citizen of Italy or “Cittadino Onorario” by the Italian government and has received an award from the Italian American Association as one of the most influential Americans in business in Italy for his accomplishments there by the Mayor of Florence and later the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi.

Mr. Wissman recently co-founded the W Preserve in Montana with Nina Kotova to create a haven for performers, visual artists, writers and thinkers alike. Against the spectacular backdrop of the Beartooth mountains and millions of acres of national forest in south central Montana, W Preserve is a retreat where artists can meet, collaborate, exchange ideas and perform in the midst of untouched natural beauty.

In 2021, Mr. Wissman founded Domus Artium, which brings international artists, actors and musicians to Rome to perform in venues of architectural and historical significance. The project and its elements can be seen on its website, www.domusartium.org .

Jacob Yarrow

Director, Green Music Center

Jacob Yarrow is executive director for the Green Music Center, the performing arts presenter at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA. The mission of the Green Music Center to present the most compelling artists of our time, to investigate ideas, and to provide access to diverse artistic experiences that educate, connect, and inspire Sonoma State University and neighboring North Bay communities. As a focal point for the arts and education in the region, the Green Music Center presents artists year-round, and serves as home to the Santa Rosa Symphony, Sonoma Bach, and the Sonoma State Music Department.

Prior to coming to Sonoma State, Jacob served as programming director for the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, a multidisciplinary presenter that presents 30-35 performances each year and a wide variety of education and artist residency programs. He oversaw marketing and communications as well as audience development and education. From 2003-2009, Jacob worked as executive director of Garth Newel Music Center in rural Bath County, VA. He supervised a gourmet food program and inn in addition to presenting sixty concerts each year. He started a series of jazz, folk, and world music concerts at Garth Newel and founded the Virginia Blues & Jazz Festival.

Jacob also worked as education director at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in Washington, DC, where he ran professional development seminars for arts professionals throughout the United States. Jacob began his career as a touring musician and as a junior high music teacher.

Nina Kotova

Artistic Director

Cellist Nina Kotova has been praised by Gramophone as a “strong and individual artist” and by the Los Angeles Times as “a talent to reckon with- poised, committed, graceful and spirited.” Ms. Kotova is internationally recognized as one of the outstanding instrumentalists of her generation and has performed in recital and as a soloist with symphony orchestras across the globe throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.

According to Newsweek magazine, “she‘s a fantastically gifted cellist.. and has a powerful stage presence.” Time magazine states: “She is a musician of high seriousness and real talent”. Ms. Kotova has also been the subject of numerous features in Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and the Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, Hello magazine and has appeared on television on A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts”, “Hard Talk” and the “Charlie Rose Show”. Ms. Kotova has featured on the covers of Classic FM, Gramophone China, Il Venerdi Italia and Reader’s Digest.

Nina Kotova has appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York, in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, at Ravinia, Wigmore Hall, the Barbican Centre in London, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, the Esplanade in Singapore, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berlin Philharmonic, to name a few.

As a soloist performing around the globe, Ms. Kotova has performed with conductors including Teodor Currentzis, Jaap Van Zweden, Stephane Deneve, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Vladimir Jurowski, Claus Peter Flor, Alain Lombard, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Antonio Pappano, Libor Pesek, Tamas Vasary, and Hans Vonk. As a chamber musician, Ms. Kotova has collaborated with musicians such as violinists Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov and Nikolaj Znaider, guitarist Sir Angel Romero, flutist Sir James Galway and pianists Jose Feghali, Helene Grimaud, Josu De Solaun, Lang Lang, Vadym Kholodenko and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

A versatile collaborator, Ms. Kotova has performed with Bobby McFerrin, appeared on the MTV Music Awards at the MET with Trent Reznor, and performed with Sting and Trudy Styler in the production “Twin Spirits”. Nina has performed on tour with John Malkovich and collaborated in theatrical productions with Jeremy Irons and Robert Redford.  Ms. Kotova has performed for the Imperial family of Japan, on Red Square in Moscow and for King Charles III at Buckingham Palace.

Among Ms. Kotova’s honors is the Tuscan – American Association award for her outstanding cultural contributions to Italy as co-founder of the Tuscan Sun Festival. Ms. Kotova also co-founded the Festival Del Sole/Festival Napa Valley in Napa Valley.  She calls the Festivals “a mecca and meeting place for artists and admirers of the arts alike”.

Nina Kotova’s recordings include her chart-topping debut album for Philips Classics, the Bloch “Shelomo” alongside her own Cello Concerto conducted by Constantine Orbelian for Delos, the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton for Sony Classics, the Deutsche Grammophon compilation “Masters of the Bow”, which pays homage to the greatest cellists of the last 50 years, the Tchaikovsky Album with conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and three albums for Warner Classics including the complete Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, the Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev Cello Sonatas with pianist Fabio Bidini, and the Romantic Recital Album with pianist Jose Feghali. Ms. Kotova’s newest album “Solo Cello” was released by Delos in 2023.

Antonio Galloni

Founder, Vinous

Antonio Galloni is a renowned wine critic, journalist, and founder of Vinous, a platform that provides reviews and information about wines from around the world. Antonio Galloni is recognized for his expertise in the field of wine, particularly Italian wines, and his reviews are highly regarded by wine enthusiasts and industry professionals.

At the intersection of media and technology, Vinous is Antonio Galloni’s vision of a modern-day wine publication. Vinous’s team of renowned critics and writers offers in depth coverage of new releases, retrospectives and verticals of older wines, videos with winemakers, interactive maps, restaurant recommendations and more, all published in a continual, daily stream of articles.